DeVante Parker Calls Out NFL Over Handling Of Concussion On Monday Night Football

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As we detailed Monday Night here at OutKick, Patriots wide receiver DeVante Parker hit the ground hard after being tackled by a Cardinals defender and appeared to stumble when he tried to get up.

Parker attempted to get himself lined up for the next play, but couldn’t seem to stand up straight. He was displaying clear concussion symptoms, which were noticed by seemingly only two people in the building — Patriots teammate Nelson Agholor and ESPN broadcaster Troy Aikman.

Agholor began jumping and shouting to get the attention of the referee to stop the game. As of now, we don’t know where the breakdown in communication happened for the NFL.

Did the concussion spotter not see Devante Parker stumbling? Did he alert the officials who then missed or ignored the signal? Was the spotter’s buzzer not working properly? These are all questions the NFL will need to answer.

DeVante Parker is not happy with the NFL

Parker, though, was not going to sit around and wait for an answer. He went on Instagram and let the league know that he is angry that they did not recognize his injury.

Now, it should be pointed out that Parker attempted to line up for the next play. It’s been suggested that Parker bears some responsibility for his own health. That he should have recognized he was not OK and just stayed down. At that point, trainers would have come running out and the game would have stopped.

In fact, someone suggested that on Twitter. DeVante Parker wasn’t feeling that, either.

However, to that I would say this is the exact reason the NFL put the concussion spotter in place. These guys are wired to be tough and “shake it off.” To get up, as if nothing happened, and continue to try and help their teams.

New England Patriots WR DeVante Parker tumbles to the ground in the first quarter. Parker hit his head on the play and did not return as he was evaluated for a concussion.
New England Patriots WR DeVante Parker tumbles to the ground in the first quarter. Parker hit his head on the play and did not return as he was evaluated for a concussion. (Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

In essence, the concussion spotter is there to protect the players from themselves. Because of that, the NFL bears the brunt of the responsibility in this case. No matter where the breakdown was — with the spotter, the referees or the technology — it can’t be left alone that this was a failure.

The fact that it happened on Monday Night Football, in front of a large audience, while Parker’s teammate was screaming to stop the play and Troy Aikman was saying, “They’re gonna be watching him … someone upstairs should be.”

It’s just a bad look for the league. They have questions to answer ASAP.


Follow Dan Zaksheske on Twitter: @OutkickDanZ

Written by Dan Zaksheske

Dan began his sports media career at ESPN, where he survived for nearly a decade. Once the Stockholm Syndrome cleared, he made his way to Outkick. He is secure enough in his masculinity to admit he is a cat-enthusiast with three cats, one of which is named “Brady” because his wife wishes she were married to Tom instead of him.

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